STATEMENT BY H.E. Mahmoud Saikal
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations
Statement at the 6th Committee on Agenda Item 109: Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism
(Check against delivery)
3 October 2017
We congratulate you and the members of the Bureau on your election and we assure you of Afghanistan’s full support and cooperation as you lead the work of the 6th Committee.
We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the Non-Aligned Movement and the OIC group. This year again, the 6th Committee deliberates on agenda item: measures to eliminate international terrorism. We do so at a time when this enemy of humanity has grown even larger in threat, scope and danger – taking new forms and manifestations.
As President Ghani stated in his address to the UN General Assembly two weeks ago: “Terrorism is not only an attack on human life and basic freedoms, but an attack on the compact of citizenship, and an attack on nation state’s relationship with its people which makes democratic societies unique, fair and free.”
This underscores the imperative of a more effective global response, underpinned by the obvious fact that in combating terrorism, we are striving to advance the well-being and security of all of humanity.
Today, Afghanistan remains the front line state in the world’s fight against international terrorism – an evil that is alien to Afghan values, customs and traditions, throughout the history of our nation. Our struggle against this global menace is ingrained in the social fabric of our society. Despite the complexity of the task at hand, we are making steady progress in combating this evil.
As we speak, Afghan security forces are battling terrorist groups who have come from abroad, and are intent on keeping Afghanistan unstable. In this effort, our forces have – in different parts of the country – inflicted major losses in the ranks of terrorist and violent extremist groups – be it the Taliban, Daesh, Al-Qaeda or other such entities. This effort continues with great progress, under our National Security Strategy, of which the fight against terrorism remains a key pillar.
Having suffered setbacks, these groups have now shifted tactics, focusing on barbaric attacks in populated areas; on ordinary Afghans; public figures, mosques, as well as well as international security and civilian personnel serving to promote stability and prosperity in our country. This signals the absolute moral bankruptcy of the terrorist groups. Needless to say, our fight against terrorism is a work in progress, demanding the continued support of the international community.
Outside the battlefield, we are working closely with regional countries, bilaterally, trilaterally and through other mechanisms and forums, including the Heart of Asia and Kabul Processes to tackle the threat of terrorism and other transnational criminal activities, plaguing Afghanistan and our region.
Reversing the tide against terrorism warrants a more effective response by the United Nations. The creation of the Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT), led by Ambassador Voronkov, is an important development. We hope the new Office will function in a manner that will positively impact the implementation of all 4 Pillars of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Yesterday I had a fruitful meeting with Ambassador Voronkov and I was pleased with our discussion.
Afghanistan has presented its recommendations on the activities of the said Office, and hope they will be duly reflected for the benefit of a more successful counter-terrorism response by the UN.
Moreover, we believe renewed focus must be given to the implementation of SC resolutions dealing with terrorism and extremism. The 1267, 1373 and 1988 Committees provide a strong basis for suppressing the capacity, resources and other enablers that empower terrorists to continue their viscous campaign. All States must apply a blanket condemnation of all terrorist elements without any distinction; and prevent any form of support to terrorist, including safe-havens and moral, material and financial aid.
Afghanistan joins other countries in expressing our concern over the impasse in finalizing the “Draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.” All outstanding issues should be resolved in the interest of a crucial imperative: strengthening the UN’s counter-terrorism architecture.
In conclusion, we look forward to enhancing our collaboration with all member-states on strengthening international cooperation to defeat international terrorism. We will do so in the context of our strategic partnership agreements and also within the framework of the UN’s counter-terrorism initiatives.
Thank You Mr. Chairman.